October 11th, 2010
08:04 PM ET

Liberation for Chilean miners possibly just a day away

Final preparations are made Monday in the remote Chilean desert to rescue 33 miners.

The first of 33 Chilean miners who have inspired the world with their calm bravery and perseverance might be just be hours away from being plucked from the depths of the Earth.

"We are hoping to initiate the rescue beginning at zero hours on
Wednesday," or 11 p.m. ET Tuesday,  Laurence Golborne, Chile's mining minister, said. They've been trapped there since August 5. It wasn't learned until August 22 that the 33 were safely holed up in a small refuge deep in the mine.

The anticipated rescue will involve the delicate maneuvering of equipment with an emphasis on protecting the miners' health.

If all goes as planned, a rescue capsule called Phoenix 1 will be lowered about 2,040 feet (622 meters) down a 28-inch wide shaft at 11 p.m. ET.


One rescuer and one paramedic will be lowered down into the mine first to prepare the men for transport to the surface.

At 5 p.m. ET, about  six hours before the rescue starts, the miners will be switched to a diet of liquids, vitamins and minerals ahead of their trip to the surface.  Each trip is expected to take about 15 minutes.


The change in diet is one way that officials are trying to mitigate some
of the challenges associated with the rescue. These include concern about the miners feeling lonely, dizzy or panicked while being lifted through the narrow shaft.

If all goes according to plan, the rescued miners will undergo about two hours of  health checks at a field hospital at the mine site. They will then be flown by helicopter to a hospital in the town of Copiapo.

CNN and CNN.com will carry live feeds from the rescue site when they begin.


Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Sherri W.W.

    I am sure we are all praying for their safe return~and for the safety of the very tired rescue workers!

    October 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    Can you give each miner an ipod to listen or watch when they are on the way up? That will help with their anxiety.

    October 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. regertz

    This is great news. Good luck, guys.

    Back to work next Monday, you know. And we're docking you for days lost and that stuff sent down to you. Flick of cigar...

    Just kidding. God bless.

    October 12, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. James

    Thanks, Stinger. And for the record, my froiavte thing of the night was still Thieves Guild Undertaker. Why is being bald that big of a deal when it is on your magazine cover?

    April 24, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |